A new whale species has been found on the eastern coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu, which has been called the ‘sinking capital of the world’.
The new species is named Zuko and is about the size of a large squid, researchers said.
The whale was discovered off the coast of Kyoshu in May and has been dubbed the ‘trio of whales’.
It is one of several whales that have been found off the Japanese coast in recent years.
It has been described as being between six and eight metres long and was found in the western section of Kyusso, a town in central Kyushus prefecture, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.
The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by marine mammal ecologist, Professor Masayuki Yamada.
He said that the whales had been swimming along the shoreline of the coast for around two weeks and that the discovery was “a great achievement”.
Professor Yamada added: “There are many species of marine mammals in Japan and I have found Zuko, which is only a tenth of the size as the largest of them.”
The scientists said that they were hoping to find more species of whales in the region to help us understand the conditions under which they lived.
The new whale was named Zuko because it is similar to a Japanese word meaning ‘blue whale’.
Professor Yamda said that Zuko was found on Kyussa Island, which sits on Kyushushus west coast, which includes Kyussan.
The team found the whale along the coastlines of the island, but there were no signs of a living individual.
The scientists are now looking for more animals to be included in their study.
Professor Yamuda said: “It’s important to find the new species, as it has the potential to have huge implications for marine ecology and to provide new information on the genetic structure of the whale, as well as help us learn more about its natural habitat.”